When we are intentional we think we are in control of things; we know where we are going and we know how we are going to get there. Then something happens that disturbs that sense of being in control. That can either be a child starts to exhibit a different unexpected behaviour. It could mean our circumstances change. It could mean we get sick. Stuff happens in our life that puts our plans into disarray but we can still be intentional even in the season of change.
I’d say that I’m in a season of change at the moment. There seems to be change happening in nearly every sphere of my life-
- As I grow older my body is not as resilient as it used to be – it is a change
- My children are mostly grown – I have three over 18, and one in the middle of teen years. Parenting one teen and being there for three young adults is vastly different then parenting four teens. It is a change in my circumstances.
- Daniel, my one homeschool student, is an independent learner so I am no longer planning or teaching homeschool lessons.
- We have had some hurts and changes in our church life.
- Peter is working on change in his business where he hopes to be home more often (not that this is a negative change!!)
- Friends leave town which brings a change socially
Dealing with Change in our Lives
There are two types of change – the change we instigate ourselves and the change that comes from an external force outside of our plans. The change we instigate ourselves is actually a part of being intentional – we make changes as we see what needs to be done to bring our family towards the things that are dear to our heart. But the change that comes from an external force, something out of our control – we don’t invite this change and it can leave us feeling helpless and unsettled.
If being intentional is a mode of living then there is a way we can be intentional even in the seasons of change. We can be intentional by:
- Recognising that we are in a season of change – if we don’t recognise the changes in our life we push at life frustrated because things aren’t as we thought they should be; this only increases our confusion cause we don’t know what’s going on inside of our hearts.
- Accepting the changes that have come our way – These things are outside of our control so we can rant and rage against these things, this only creates an attitude of bitterness and anger or we find a sense of acceptance and reach for God in our confusion about why! This is a place of reality – we can’t do anything about something that we didn’t initiate.
- Trusting God for the outcomes that we have yet to see our way through – there is nothing like change that throws us onto God. Trusting God regardless of the circumstances is what brings peace to our hearts instead of anxiety.
- Praying – When we commit to praying to God even in the midst of our anger or our fear we are acknowledging that God is in control, that he is bigger than our circumstances, and that he is still my God, still loves me, and still talks to me. This means we are aware of who we are – we are defined by our relationship with Jesus, not the circumstances around us.
- Be grateful – When I say thank-you for the good things in my life I gain perspective – God is still God.
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Keep our eyes on Jesus in a season of change
Psalm 119 is an amazing passage of Scripture to read at a time of confusion and frustration – it is a passage that grounds me, reminds me that God is God, His word is true, that I am to trust him and that he is trustworthy. But a particular verse that comes to mind is Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I heard it explained once that God’s word is like the headlights on a car and as you drive through the night on a winding and hilly road your headlights can only see so far – they can’t help you see over the hill or around the bend, and yet the light is still there. As you turn the corner you can see the next bit ahead of you. God’s word is like that – the light is there, but we can’t always see over the hill or around the bend.
As we keep our focus on Jesus (he is our light, and the word), then we can go through a season of change with a sense of peace, joy, hope because our eyes are on Jesus not on the circumstances around us.
Over to you:
What have you found helpful as you’ve walked through seasons of change?
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